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Seal the Deal with SKF Seals and Hub Caps

just for truckers | Posted: 11/25/2022

Keeping your bearings functioning smoothly is key to keeping your fleet on the road. Making sure contaminants such as water, road salt, and dirt don’t get to your bearings is one of the best ways to protect them and extend their life. Bearing failure results in downtime, lost profits, and potential safety risks. However, preventative components such as wheel seals and hub caps can help keep your bearings, and your assets safe.

SKF Scots Logo S.C.O.T.S.

A wheel seal and a hub cap both have the same job: keep contaminants from outside of the hub cavity out, and keep lubricants in. However, they are located in two very different places in your wheel assembly. A wheel seal is located in the bore of your wheel or the centre hole that attaches to the hub, while a hub cap is on the exterior and acts as the first line of defense against contaminants. Any good seal or hub cap will help to reduce the wear and tear that can occur on your bearings. However, these SKF Scots seals and hub caps are designed with so much more in mind than just protecting your bearings!

S.C.O.T.S. stands for Self-Contained Oil Type Seal and there are two main types of Scotseals that we carry here at The Classic and the PlusXL. Both are compatible with most lubricants.

Scotseal Classic

The Scotseal Classic is coated with a water-based acrylic sealant called Bore Tite, which is used on the outside edge of the seal to compensate for any small imperfections that the bore may have, all while helping to provide a positive seal. The one-piece design includes a primary sealing lip, dirt lip, bumper lip, and spring lip to keep containments out of the system and to keep lubrication in. This reliable and dependable seal has trillions of road miles to its credit through SKF’s extensive in-house testing and is sure to provide a long service life. But, before you install your new Scots classic, first use a hub oil seal puller to remove the old one. It should also be noted that the classic seal does require a special tool for installation, but we’ve got everything you need, here at

Jacob's Ball Bearing Chucks
SKF Classic Hub Seal

First, put the installation tool together, then place your Scots classic seal on the hub. Next, holding the tool handle straight, drive the seal with firm hammer strokes until it is squarely seated. Continue driving the seal onto the hub until the sound of impact changes, as this indicates metal-to-metal contact, and lets you know that the seal has bottomed out on the bore. Be careful! After hearing this sound, do not strike again as you could damage the seal, the hub, or your bearing. Finally, check for freedom of movement by manually moving the sealing element up and down, and ensure that the inner bearing turns easily.

SKF Classic Hub Seal
SKF Classic Hub Seal

Use some caution with these steps, as 90% of premature wheel bearing failures are the result of improperly installed wheel seals. This can lead to lubrication leaks and serious damage. But why does this happen? Well, the tools can be heavy and difficult to control, and their size and weight can exert great force on the seal, even when properly aligned. These tools also tend to get damaged over time or get lost and misplaced, leaving you to improvise. Different tools for each seal, and for each manufacturer, is also major recipe for disaster. That’s why SKF created ScotsPlusXL to help solve this problem.

Scotseal PlusXL

The Scotseal PlusXL is considered a premium seal as it offers not only better contaminant exclusion, but also a longer service life in rugged environments, like our harsh Canadian roads. The PlusXL features a wave seal design that helps sweep oil back to the bearings. Similar to the Classic, it has four key inner components: the bumper lip, 2 exclusion lips, a primary sealing lip, and 2 grease packs. So, you know that the PlusXL definitely seals the deal. As an added bonus, the PlusXL is designed to handle lubricants and high-heat applications up to 150°C! And, the ScotsPlusXL is the only heavy-duty seal that doesn’t require special tools, since it can be installed by hand or gently tapped in place with a rubber mallet.

SKF Scotseal PlusXL Hub Seal
SKF Scotseal PlusXL Hub Seal
SKF Classic Hub Seal
SKF Classic Hub Seal

To install the ScotsPlusXL seal, lightly lubricate the inside and outside of the seal with some wheel end lube, don’t worry you can use the same grease with both the bearing and the seal. Then press down on the seal evenly, just make sure you are applying an even driving force to avoid tilting or damage. Once the seal is evenly seated and bottomed out in the bore, check to make sure that both the seal and the bearing turn smoothly. After that, simply wait a few minutes to let the rubber settle before re-installing the hub assembly.

SKF Hub Caps

Having your hub caps properly installed can also help extend the life of your bearings. SKF hub caps have heavy-duty durability and are compatible with most common oils and greases, including the latest synthetics! They also act as a vent that releases excess air whenever there is a rise in air pressure, through actions such as braking. But how do you determine which hub cap you need? It’s simple! Just count the number of mounting holes you require, and measure the diameter of the bolts, also known as the bolt circle. With these measurements, you can easily find the correct SKF hub cap.

Even when you use all of the preventative components that were mentioned, bearings can still fail. Here at, we carry an extensive inventory of tapered wheel bearings. If you have any questions feel free to contact us! Also, don’t forget to give us a follow-on social media so you can receive promotions, giveaways, and new product announcements!

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